Posts tagged “Landscape

Abstraction (Two Photographs)

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Shooting reflections, puddles, and through colored glass as shown here gives large leeway for creativity. I was walking down a street and came across a plastic sculpture encased in ballistic glass. The effect on the background, of course, was of greater interest to me than the work of art. The masthead of my blog is a similar photo, a self-portrait taken in the window of a fire station with a fish eye lens. Abstract art and photography is popular in part because it gives room for imagination on the part of the viewer.


Dynamic Range (Three Photographs)

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One thing that is very hard to correct for and makes most of our photos interpretations and not absolutely accurate, is the fact that camera sensors cannot capture the full dynamic range of light our eyes can see. Color negative film has the widest range and digital sensors the least. Both are far from what our eyes and brains can interpret. HDR software (high dynamic range) has come some way in helping get a naturally larger range of light, but is somewhat stymied by the narrow color space of the web and print photography (that is the range of colors as well as light that can be seen in a print). Melding photos taken with different exposures of the same scene may help, but are also interpretations of the original scene. Camera makers’ attempts to deal with this with specialized dynamic range settings have not been ideal (they arbitrarily open shadows and darken highlights). The aim, whether you work in color or in B&W, is to make sure that the shadows and/or highlights of interest are properly represented, recognizing that sometimes compromise has to be made between them. Just because the sky is blown out does not in my view make it a bad shot.



Focused Detail (Three Photographs)

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An entirely out of focus photograph that has impact and makes a statement is not unknown. From everything being tact sharp to nothing in focus is quite a distance. We use selective focus in most cases to draw attention to a subject or part of a subject. I believe there is a third element to consider, selective focus as in the scenes here can be either chaotic, or make the photo interesting,. In saying that I think focus also has a certain emotional angle to it, with things sharp and clear our understanding is also clearer. So when things are in and out of focus, it may be disorienting, leaving an unsettling feeling.



Landscape Still Life (Three Photographs)

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One of the things I like to shoot is small things in the natural landscape, leaves, branches, etc. that fell and came together in interesting patterns. Color or black and white makes no difference, I like these natural compositions and I guess that is all that matters. Some people call these still lifes, others mini landscapes, and still others intimate landscapes.





That Question (Three Photographs)

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This is not one of those rants about the forest and the trees. It’s about that question at every party and encounter when someone asks you what you do and you say photography. Their next question is what do you shoot? If you say nature photography then maybe they ask another more detailed question. The person that stops after the first question really doesn’t deserve a business card or the URL to your website. If they stop after the second question, it’s a good bet they have no idea what goes into photography, the cost in time, equipment and effort. Feel free to give them a URL, if they continue and ask if you do landscapes, birds or insects, give them your card. Some people seem to have little appreciation for the effort or love that goes into photography. These photos were taken with the Fuji XT-2.



Through A Window (Two Photographs)

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I was once told that photography is like looking through a small window. There are different ways to interpret this. “Cameras give us tunnel vision and we miss the larger picture”, is perhaps not the kindest interpretation. Another might be an analogy with framing. Certainly many photographers are accused of being obsessed by viewing things though a camera lens, even when not holding a camera. I recall years ago cinematographers and photographers had a gizmo they held to their eye to frame what they saw with different lenses and apertures. It saved them from spending money on film and allowed some experimentation. Some just created a square with four fingers to visualize what they wanted in the frame. I still think the two interpretations apply. It’s part of the photographic eye. I plead guilty as charged, I would prefer not to get overwhelmed by what I see but see it in manageable digestible details.


Shape and Form (Two Photographs)

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Photography is all about light, capturing the subject, catching a moment in time, and all about shape, texture and form captured by light! There are too many possible explanations about the essence of photography to parse. To some extent they are all true. A carver once told me that in sculpture, the foundation of the art is in imagining the final product. Most photographers looking through a lens think about what the final product will look like, and if they can, work the light, take advantage of form and texture, while paying attention to their subject. Examples of this are choosing the time of day to get the light you want, posing a subject, or as in this case finding something that merits attention and framing it.